Teaching old dogs new tricks

I went to the Media Development Center (MDC) in the library this week. It was time to learn something new, and to complete a “project” I talked about for years but never got around to doing: how to digitize an old analog recording. The sound booth in the MDC has everything a student might need to create and edit music, create podcasts, score your movie, and more things than I could imagine with a program called GarageBand. While I’d love to have time to experiment with all the tools, all I wanted to learn how to do was to take an old record and digitize it to burn to CD. While this fits perfectly with the learning 2.0 objectives we’ve been talking about in our library 2.0/web 2.0 world, I had a more personal motive!

I was instructed to talk to Jahvalle, student assistant and sound booth expert. He knew what a record album was; he’d seen a few old vinyls. But he had never seen a 45rpm. When he learned that the 45 was a recording of my high school rock band “liberation” he was even more impressed. Jahvalle walked me through the process and within 30 minutes, we completed digitizing and burning both the A and B sides of the record my friends and I made back in 1973.liberation’s record

I hadn’t heard these recordings – “Let Me Touch You” and “Big Earl’s Girl” – in almost 30 years! The songs were written by Joe Bennett, formerly of Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones, a one-time front band for Elvis Presley. Joe was a music teacher in Spartanburg where I grew up. I met him & got involved with the rock band through best friend Shelley who was one of Joe’s guitar students.

I started taking piano lessons at age 8 and by 13 was teaching myself to play guitar on a very cheap instrument. Joe wanted to put a band together. Shelley didn’t have to twist my arm to join the band and fortunately my folks were willing to pay for the guitar/band lessons. Joe had 2 other students – another guitarist and a drummer — who he pulled together with Shelley & me. We had one other friend we invited to join, and “liberation”, an all-girl rock band, was born. Okay, we weren’t the Go-Go’s but we were there before them! As far as I know we were the first, and at that time, the only all-girl rock band in Spartanburg, including the first to compete in the local Battle of the Bands.

Back to my motives for digitizing: 1) just to hear the recordings again; 2) to leave this little legacy for my kids; and 3) to send to Shelley for her 50th birthday! So, happy birthday Shelley! The CD is in the mail!

More on liberation in another post…


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